Low – Double Negative

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I don’t usually dip my toes into the “indie pop” world. And who can blame me? Most of it is pandering bullshit intended to sell some brand of vodka or ironically cool clothing with the price tag of “got-ya-sucka”. But, just listen to this first track. 

How the fuck does a band, after twelve albums and twenty-five years, finally find their sound? Low has often seemed like a band held back by something. They would make a decent album one day then play a single drone song for thirty minutes at a festival. Something just didn’t seem to fit. I can’t help but think if Radiohead’s Kid A. Not that these two albums are all that similar. But each of these bands decided to make something new despite their successes in pop/rock. Instead of towing that same fucking line that we’ve heard a thousand times before, they dove headfirst into the unknown. Now that’s some inspiring shit. I don’t know why Low decided to break away from their sound. But I do imagine them sitting around late one night, looking around at the life they’ve made for themselves, and saying, “fuck it”. 

On this album there are bass lines that sound like the buzz of a television fucked an endless ocean. Sitting on top of this is ethereal sustained guitar chords and organ drones that would make a monastery jealous. Creepy vocal lines sounding like choir boys with the reverb set up to goddamn melt across the soundscape. I’ve had conversations before where people wonder if they’ll ever have the excitement they once did with music. They regale me with stories of their first time listening to such-and-such an album when they were young, beautiful, and impressionable. I can tell you for certain that those days are not gone. Those beautiful music days weren’t all just hormones and impressionability. Listening to this album front to back tickled me in the same way as when I first listened to Kid A; For Emma, Forever Ago; and Ágætis byrjun. 

Listen to this album loudly. Listen to this album late at night. Listen to this album while driving down a dark highway late at night with nothing but your thoughts, the humming of the tires, and the tunes to keep you company. This is the soundtrack that comes on when a drunken angel, after discovering heroin and sex, floats on their back in the middle of a lake and smiles at the sky. It’s fucking fantastic. 

 

 

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